Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, People & Places, Sports » 2012 Cross Country Winner, Giovanni Choto collects Cash Winnings
Apr 12, 2012

2012 Cross Country Winner, Giovanni Choto collects Cash Winnings

Giovanni Choto restored the pride of the country when he broke the foreign rider’s hold on the Holy Saturday cross country cycling classic. In solo fashion, Choto crossed the finish line in six hours, sixteen minutes and forty-five seconds.  He led the pack for almost the entire race, which from all accounts is one that will go down in the books. That lead earned him more than three quarters of the station prizes and sixteen grand for the first place. Today the champ, out of his cycling gears and off the bike, officially received the incentive cheques. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Giovanni Choto’s historic ride for the garland on Holy Saturday will go down in the history of cycling in Belize. Belizeans far and wide cheered him on as he rode to the finish line. Today, friends, family, supporters and other cyclists once again recognized the twenty three year old.  Herman Longsworth, Minister of Sports, lauded his efforts:

 

Herman Longsworth, Minister of Sports & Youth

Herman Longsworth

“On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports, we are here today to not only to congratulate you Mr. Choto, but to let the world know how proud we are as Belizeans for what you achieved this Holy Saturday. Giovanni Choto is the eighty-fourth cross country champion of Belize and guess what guys, he’s a Belizean. Finally, another Belizean has put in the kind of work that has enabled him to be the champion of the most prestigious race this country will ever have.”

 

And as for Giovanni, cast into the spot light since Saturday, he is still the talk of the country. Humbled by the praises, he says he is trying to get used to all of it. Less than a week after and he says he is already back on his bike:

 

Giovanni Choto, 2012 Cross Country Cycling Classic Champ

“I feel good and still kinda nervous bout it.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Okay, why still nervous?”

 

Giovanni Choto

“I nuh used to deh inna deh yah big position like this.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“I know that after the race, you had a little fever and you weren’t feeling really well. What’s the status with that?”

 

Giovanni Choto

Giovanni Choto

“Well I think I mi kinda sun-burned and dehydrated. I am recovering back again.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So now that you are recovering of course you are not really on the bike for right now?”

 

Giovanni Choto

“Yes we gone train that last three days but nuh hard.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So I know you got a lot of different station prizes and also cash prizes. So you have anything that you decided what you are going to use these winnings in such and such. You are going to invest it in this other project. What’s the plan?”

 

Giovanni Choto

“Well I mi do my house and I noh done it yet—wah lee small house—so I think it wah really help me good. And then to help my pa and my ma; everybody inna the family.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And finally in the eyes of Belizeans you are hero, you are the cycling hero. Do you think you will ever get used to it?”

 

Giovanni Choto

“I noh know, I noh know. Hopefully.”

 

When Giovanni won the title, he raked in some big station prizes and a whole lot of cash. Added on to the first place five thousand dollars cash prize, today he received the additional eleven thousand dollars from United Insurance and Ministry of Sports:

 

Herman Longsworth

“Mr. Choto, you have made the Ministry five thousand dollars poorer, but we love it. Now, I am encouraged by the fact that there are two private sector entities represented here today who have also taken the initiative and have followed the Ministry’s lead and have decided to provide similar incentives. It is encouraging, it is very encouraging because the government alone can never sustain sports in this country; we would never be able to do it alone.”

 

It’s a race that is worthy of those big prizes. Choto says it was tough; a real challenge:

 

Andrea Polanco

“Giovanni, when we spoke on the Thursday before the Cross Country, you said it was going to be hard for a Belizean to win. Was it hard for you that day out there?”

 

Giovanni Choto

“Yes ma’am it was hard to win. But thank god for it and to everybody else.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“I know you expected fierce competition from the foreigners. Do you think they played any roles in this Cross Country?”

 

Giovanni Choto

“Yes they were tough and thing but I think they underestimate that they mi feel that I mi wah can’t reach and that dah weh catch them.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“In that interview as well on Thursday, you guys emphasized the importance of teamwork. What was teamwork like out there that day for you alone?”

 

Giovanni Choto

“I think the team work hard because they neva make nobody bridge across to me and that hard to do because I in the situation sometime and I think they work hard for it.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“I know you guys go out there with a strategy. Was that your strategy to take an early lead and take it back all the way into the city?”

 

Giovanni Choto

“No. it come that way and so I take it and I just gone for it—try to get the most station prizes—and when I see the race come to me too.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“ At what moment you realize, you know what, I might just win this thing?”

 

Giovanni Choto

“Well I neva sure until Belize City.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“When you crossed the finished line, what went through your mind?”

 

Giovanni Choto

“I neva know weh fi do. I just mi so nervous bout it and everybody out deh di halla up. So I just mi nervous.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“I know two of your brothers finished in the top ten as well. What are the sentiments of the other four?”

 

Giovanni Choto

“Everybody happy about the win. Everybody happy about the win because when one ah we win all ah we happy.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

 

For five years, the most popular sporting event had been won by foreign riders until this year when Choto, riding for Western Spirits, made it back to Belize City ahead of the other seventy-nine riders. 

Be Sociable, Share!


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

7 Responses for “2012 Cross Country Winner, Giovanni Choto collects Cash Winnings”

  1. Elgin Martinez says:

    What about giving our champ a job at the Ministry of sports?In the year 2012 fifteen thousand is petty cash for a First place winner.I don’t even think that can build Giovanni a little cement house.

  2. Jose says:

    I admire how this humble, little man won….he is a real Hero. I agree with Elgin. He should be offered a job in the Ministry of Sports.

  3. jose says:

    YES HE SHOULD BE OFFERED A NICE JOB AT THE MINISTRY OF SPORTS THAT WOULD BE GREAT MEN

  4. drose flowers says:

    HE IS A REAL CHAMPION, I LIKE HIS HUMILITY, I LIKE THAT HE THINK ABOUT HIS PARENTS, HIS LITTLE HOUSE.
    YES I HOPE MINISTRY OF SPORTS OFFER THIS FINE YOUNG CHAMPION A JOB.

  5. CEO says:

    He does not need a job he needs a facility where he can hone his skills so he can make a better name for Belize and be able to live off his skills; dame it hs has a job!

    Also they need to be thoght to be able to give an interview for an international audience.

  6. subKonshus says:

    He needs a house on an acre of land for crying out loud! Also, the cash prize received does not reflect the value of the sport. Any cylcist will tell you that six thousand dollars cannot buy a decent road bike to compete in races like these. The GOB needs to pump like 5 times that amount of money into the cross country cash prize. Don’t talk no bull that they can’t afford it. One of those stupid election petition cases is around a million dollars. Yet they find that kind of unbudgeted monies hand over fists to fight litigation after litigation for one reason or the other. Cross country is national pride. I don’t think that any patriotic Belizean will have a problem awarding a $50,000 or $100,000 grand prize when a young, humble, home-grown, respectable Belizean like Giovanni Choto or any other Belizean cyclists is the recipient. Cross country comes once a year, but it bigger than Christmas in Belize! Put it this way people…if Giovanni run for elections in Queen Square right now, Dean might get 2 votes!!!!!! Big up to fu we lee bwoy Giovanni…..Nuff respect to the heaven s above CHAMP!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. JAMES JOSEPH says:

    SUCH UNPARALLED HUMILITY…MOST BELIZEAN CYCLISTS I KNOW WAY BACK IN THE DAYS BEHAVED IN A SIMILAR FASHION…BELIZEANS CYCLISTS ARE ONE OF A SPECIAL KIND…FROM ELSTAN KERR TO GIOVANNI CHOTO…CONGRATS TO ALL BELIZEAN CYCLING CHAMPS OF THE PAST…ALIVE AND THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US…HUMILITY BREEDS GOOD PINEAL SOULS…

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*